A lorry driver who had only held a HGV licence for only a few weeks has been sent to prison for Six years after admitting he was using his mobile phone to watch YouTube videos and surf Facebook when the lorry he was driving ploughed into two friends killing them instantly on a Southampton motorway last year
Keith Mees, 49, of Pingle Farm Road, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving at a previous hearing. It was a year ago today that the two friends and work mates were crushed in their vehicle between two lorries on the busy M271 in Redbridge Southampton.
Sat in court today the families of the two killed sat in the public gallery sobbing as the facts where read out by the prosecutor:Simon Jones. Mees sat in the dock with glazes eyes as the court relived the moment building up to the horror smash that involved Three lorries and the men car. The court heard that Collision was Grossly Avoidiable
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Stood in the dock dressed in a grey suit the judge his honour Jude Rowland passed a sentence of XXX years
The court heard that driver Marian Olteanu, 35, and his friend father of two Ion Calin,42 been working the building trade together and had been on there way home when Mees lorry rammed them under the rear of a lorry that had slowed for traffic in lane one of the busy motorway. They stood no chance both of them dying with horric injuries . The court heard that families of those killed wanted to know more about the people involed and found Mees Facebook with a picture of him in his hospitial bed giving it the thumbs up with a status stating his mates had swooped the morphone for viagra and he kept on hoping to be home for Christmas.
The pair has come to the UK to provide for there families and have a better life. Instead this was taken from the pair not by choice but for the sake of a mobile phone call. Mees admitting using the phone whilst driving his lorry that slammed into the pairs purple ford mondeo. At first when rescue crews arrived at scene they didn’t even know the car was between the three lorries.One rescue worker, described the scene as “total carnage”.
All emergency services attended the scene including firefighters from as far as Cosham, with two ambulances who rushed the injured lorry drivers to hospital. One of them was Mees who had a knee injury and spent eight days in Hospitial.
Police left the scene at 4.15am some 12 hours after the incident. you where the driver of the lorry that killed two men in a car in front of you the sole decision was your action to use Facebook for 20 seconds that caused this collision n and there was a 13 minute call that took place that court heard took place during the journey without a hand free kit and this was confirmed following an examination of the cab.
His honour judge Rowland said” You have expressed remorse but this has been tampered as you tried to change your plea and put through the families even more distress and pain. This is a level two offence and a sentence that I pass will be one of Six years.
Mees was sentenced to a total of six years in prison and disqualified from driving for seven years, with a three year extension.
He was given six years for each count of causing death by dangerous driving and two years for causing serious injury by dangerous driving – all to run concurrent.
Addressing Mess, Judge Rowland said: “The sole cause of this collision was your decision to use your mobile phone to access Facebook.”
Speaking after the sentencing Roads Policing Inspector Darren Ord said: “As the photographs from the scene clearly show, this was a truly horrific collision but it could have been so easily avoided if Mees had abided by the law and not used his mobile phone while driving.
“Our officers were confronted with the devastating scene which tragically resulted in the death of two friends who had simply been driving home from work.
“Through no fault of their own their lives were cut short and their families have been shattered. Mr Calin’s two sons will be forced to grow up without their father.
“Had Mees simply left his phone alone, Mr Olteanu and Mr Calin would be alive today.
“Any driver using their mobile phone behind the wheel is risking their life and the lives of others.
“This is not just us trying to scare people, as this case shows, people will die if drivers insist on ignoring the potentially fatal dangers of using a phone while driving.
“Even a split second of distraction while driving can be the difference between life and death.
“Put your phone away or turn it off while driving – it is not worth the risk.”